I have been preaching through the book of Ephesians for a little while. I haven’t made it through Ephesians in just 6 weeks, but also, I have not taken 6 years. So I am somewhere in the middle of those who preach verse by verse. At times we probably went a little too fast and at times we have probably gone a little too slow.
Anyway, below you will find the introduction to Ephesians. I pray it encourages you.
26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)
Christians ought not ever get angry, right? Isn’t it ugly and totally not like Jesus to be angry?
I’ll preach through this whole passage on Sunday (Ephesians 4:25-32), but I wanted to make a couple of short reflections about this passage above that I think answer this question, maybe unexpectedly.
First, there are a series of about 11 commands from verse 25-32
Second, these commands are aimed at the church as a church lived out among each other.
Third, we are commanded to be angry in verse 26.
Fourth, we are commanded to be angry and not sin in verse 26.
Fifth, we are not to let the sun go down on our “Anger” verse 26.
Just a quick note, this word more likely means: provocations. Those things that are provoking.
Summary: Christians who are provoked by someone else’s sin against them, are to get angry without sin, and then they should not let the sun go down on the cause of that anger.
Conclusion: Christians are to practice church discipline. When someone sins, we are to be angry at that sin, and that sin which causes us to be angry must be dealt with. Why? So that the devil does not get a foothold. Where? In the fellowship.
In other words, this passage is calling on Christians to be good and angry with sin, to solve sin issues quickly, so that the fellowship is not disrupted.
So the answer is: Yes Christians should get angry, but they should never sin in that anger. Let’s not confuse Bitterness, Malice, Wrath, Slander, and Clamor for this angry with sin command though.